The following is a guest post.
Have you heard? The surviving members of Monty Python are reuniting!
John Cleese, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin announced today at a press conference that they will be performing a greatest hits live show at London’s O2 Arena on July 1, 2014.
With the unparalleled success of Spamalot under his belt, Eric Idle will do double duty as the show’s director. There will reportedly be big musical numbers, classic sketches presented in new ways, and others that have never been performed live before. And yes, the performance will be punctuated with Terry Gilliam’s absurd animated creations.
Before we all throw ourselves a pity party for not being able to attend this once-in-a- lifetime event, it has been suggested that if the show goes well, there might be an international tour. At the very least the obligatory DVD will be on offer.
Personally this comes as welcome news to me. I trace the very beginnings of my Anglophilia to Monty Python’s Flying Circus. I had never seen anything like them before and I remember as a young teenager thinking what an amazing place England must be if this was what all British humor was like. Also I had a bit of a crush on Michael Palin and I still might not be entirely over it…
These Oxbridge educated comedians seamlessly blended intellectual topics with puerile humor. Philosophical, art, literary and political figures were all fodder for their sharp wit. And though a great deal of the time the references went over my head, I was proud to say that I “got” that they were funny, unlike some of my less enlightened friends.
So until the time comes when we can all see this reunion that has been three decades in the making, I have chosen some of my sentimental favorite sketches from the TV series. I’ve stayed away from the ones everyone can recite verbatim such as the Dead Parrot sketch, the Lumberjack Song and the like; however, it was still really tough to narrow down from forty-six episodes each with about a dozen sketches or so.
Here they are in no particular order, my ten favorite Python sketches of the moment:
Flying Sheep – The first part of this very funny sketch features the wonderfully talented Graham Chapman who died of cancer in 1989. In honor of him, the workup of the tour’s promotional material reportedly advertises “one down, five to go.”
Please make sure to share your favorite Python performers, sketches or any other Flying Circus memories in the comments.
Carmen is an American wife and mother of two college students who live away from home. With her yellow lab Malcolm by her side, she watches and writes about British television for her own blog Everything I Know about the UK I Learned from the BBC. Read more of Carmen’s posts here.